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East Bowl of Cayoosh--February 2004 # 4959

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Date: 2004.02.08
Vantage Point: From East Bowl of Cayoosh Mountain

Caption: Skiing on the lower moraine in the East Bowl of Cayoosh Mountain after a three day storm dropped 120cm.

PhotoDescr: After the biggest storm in two months, we headed out to the Duffey thinking we would probably just be satisfied with a little fresh air and some exercise. But it was clear, as we ascended the old road towards the east side of Cayoosh Mountain, that most of the steeper slopes had slid during the storm or just after it had finished, and this changed the picture for us.

Thus, we were able to work safely up into the East Bowl, an area that has multiple features and generally holds a high quality snowpack. Temperatures were excellent (-14C), and the snow quality was quite good. This shot, taken at the lower moraine, is just as yours truly is sinking back into the snow. Penetration at this elevation was about 50cm, with a light crust at about 35cm depth.

The entire ridge in the background had slid during the storm. This ridge forms the boundary between Marriott Basin and Cayoosh Mountain. The popular pass between Cayoosh, Eight-Mile Creek, and Marriott Basin is the pass to the top left of the photo. The Wendy Thompson Hut is in the basin behind the ridge in the back of the photograph.

Further up Cayoosh Mountain, just 80m below the summit, ski penetration was greater and the snow was much lighter. Skiers had to let the snow settle before following other skiers down. At the end of the day, we all agreed it had been one of our best days in the backcountry ever. Definitely a treat for a group that thought they were heading out for just a little exercise!!

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